The federal historic tax credit has been a key tool in the revitalization of Baton Rouge and communities across the state. The HTC has allowed private developers like myself to restore historic structures like The Watermark that spur additional economic development activity. Further, these historic rehabilitation projects often have a catalytic impact, resulting in complete transformation of downtown communities.

Ten years ago, downtown Baton Rouge was struggling. Now, we are bustling with activity on any given day and night. In addition to The Watermark, the HTC made the renovation of the residential Commerce Building, the Hotel Indigo, and the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center possible.

This critical economic development tool is at risk of elimination in Congress during the tax reform debate. Despite strong support from Congressman Graves and the entire Louisiana delegation, the HTC was repealed in its entirety in the tax reform bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on November 16.

On that same day, our U.S. senators, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, led an effort to save the program in the Senate. With leadership from Cassidy, the Senate Finance Committee preserved the HTC in the last few minutes of its final hearing on the Senate tax reform bill. We are grateful for Cassidy’s leadership in saving a critical program for our city and state.

As the tax reform debate continues in Washington, D.C., we urge our Louisiana delegation to support Senator Cassidy in his steadfast effort to preserve the HTC.

Mike Wampold

Wampold Companies

Baton Rouge